Well-designed applications usually provide an open interface, hiding implementation details, which allows for design changes without affecting end users.
When developing your database, you can achieve a similar result by encapsulating tables and providing access to data only through a set of views.
In this article, we will discuss what views are, how they are created, and what they can be useful for.
A view is a database object that is the result of executing a query on the database, defined using the SELECT statement, at the time of accessing the view.
Views are sometimes called "virtual tables." This is because a view appears to the user as a table, but actually does not store data, but retrieves it from other tables at the time of access.
If the data in the underlying table changes, the user receives up-to-date data when accessing the view that uses this table. Views do not cache query results during operation.
As a simple example, suppose you want to partially hide email addresses in the user table (Users).
This can be useful, for example, if your company's policy does not allow everyone to use confidential user information. Therefore, instead of allowing direct access to the user table (Users), you define a view named ViewUsers and require everyone to use it to access user data.
Here is an example of defining this view:
CREATE VIEW ViewUsers AS SELECT id, name, CONCAT(SUBSTR(email, 1, 2), '****', SUBSTR(email, -4)) AS email FROM Users;
The view in an SQL query appears and is used like a regular table.
SELECT * FROM ViewUsers;
If you want to find out which columns are available in the view, you can use the DESCRIBE statement.
CREATE [OR REPLACE] VIEW view_name [(view_column_names)] AS select_expression
OR REPLACE — When using this optional parameter, if a view with the same name already exists, the old view will be deleted and a new one will be created. Otherwise, if you try to create a view with an existing name, an error will occur.
Views are used to simplify complex queries and create an abstraction between the user and the database. They can hide the complexity of data structures and provide a simplified interface for accessing data.
Creating views that encapsulate complex queries can help optimize the execution of these queries. This can lead to faster query execution and overall improvement in database performance.
Views can be used to ensure the security of confidential data. Creating views that restrict access to specific columns or rows of data allows administrators to limit access to sensitive information. This helps ensure that only authorized users have access to confidential data.
Views are an important tool in SQL that allows for simplifying complex queries, standardizing data access, improving performance, and ensuring data security
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